Following a decline in 2020 as a result of COVID, the past three months have seen a spike in solar installations in India.
They have quadrupled in the past three months — from an average of 665 MW per month before to COVID, to 411 MW during COVID, and then to an average of 1508 MW per month for the most recent quarter (June–August 2021).
Solar capacity would reach 109 GW by March 2024 at current pace of installation. This would more than cover India’s historical growth rate of 5.7 percent.
Adjustments would need to be made, however, to accommodate the growth of solar and the decrease of coal as a source of power — grid-scale batteries would need to be developed and deployed to meet peak supply and demand.
Peak and off-peak pricing systems might be used to incentivize business and the general public to utilize energy in ways that favor increased renewable energy inputs.
What the previous few months have clearly shown is India’s capacity to accelerate grid-scale solar installation quickly enough to phase out coal-fired electricity by the middle of the decade and perhaps witness a steady drop in coal output afterwards,” IEEFA writes.
With rooftop installations accelerating, hydro projects currently under construction being completed, and additional wind farms being built, the collapse of thermal coal power might be even more drastic.
Reference- Clean Technica, IEEEA Report, Mercom India, Economic Times, JMK Research website